Start with a newly minted partnership, add an iconic family and blend in an incredible secret that needed to be kept from a huge swath of stakeholders for more than a year, and what do you have? It is the recipe for one of Canada’s most important philanthropic announcements ever made. Hill+Knowlton’s heart-felt promise to SickKids, University Health Network and the University of Toronto was to set a new bar when it came to announcing the historic $130-million gift from the Rogers family to launch the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research. Not only were we tasked with developing and implementing a media relations strategy, we also planned a complex 300-guest event with a comprehensive multi-media program, developed a digital and social media strategy and acted as the facilitator for the three partner institutions.

From spontaneous standing ovations by guests to 54 million media impressions, 167 media hits and 800 tweets—making it the top trending conversation on Twitter—the successful execution of our strategy surpassed client expectations solidifying our promise to set the new gold standard in major gift announcements in Canada.